RM57 billion in house loans approved till Sept 2017
Housing loans amounting to RM57 billion have been approved by banking institutions to 142,558 applicants for first time house purchases from January until September this year. Since 2010, the government and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had introduced various schemes and measures to facilitate home ownership in Malaysia for eligible borrowers especially for the purchase of first homes. Among them include PR1MA, MyHome, Rumawip, Selangorku Homes, PPA1M, 1Malaysia People’s Friendly Homes, and MyDeposit Scheme. (NST Online)

KL-SG HSR to generate RM70bil in investments by 2060
The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (KL-SG HSR), once operational, has the potential to generate RM70 billion in investments along the HSR alighment by 2060. The rail project will be able to create approximately 440,000 jobs, developing new skills and talent that will generate sustanaible opportunities for future generations. In Melaka, the KL-SG HSR has received overwhelming support from the state of Melaka with 95% positive feedback from respondents. The rail service is expected to reduce travel time between Bandar Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur and the Melaka HSR station to 45 minutes compared to 1.5 hours by car. (NST Online)

All 27 storeys of TRX tower completed
IJM Corporation Bhd celebrated the completion of its new office tower at the upcoming international financial district Tun Razak Exchange (TRX). Work on the 27-storey structure started in January and in just 10 months, the building’s structural works up to the final floor level have been completed. The office tower is the first building to reach its top in TRX. The building is to be completed with interior fit-outs and services ready to be handed over to its anchor tenant in the first quarter of 2019. (The Star Online)

Gamuda targets adding RM6-8bil to orderbook in FY18
Gamuda Bhd has targeted to replenish its construction orderbook by between RM6 billion and RM8 billion for its financial year ending July 31, 2018 (FY18). Its current orderbook of RM8 billion will keep the group busy for the next three years. The group’s property arm has a sales target of RM3.5 billion for FY18, half of which is expected to come from its overseas projects. Will put further large investments in capital expenditure “on hold” for the time being as it has already invested heavily in its industrial building systems (IBS) factories and tunnel boring machines (TBMs). (The Edge Markets)

Pantai Sentral Park takes ‘green living’ to next level
Pantai Sentral Park, Kuala Lumpur’s one and only urban forest city, is taking “green living” to the next level, in order to enhance the quality of life for the 15,000 residents who will live there over the next decade. The project by IJM Land Bhd and joint-venture partner Amona Development Sdn Bhd, will not only offer state-of-the-art amenities for luxurious and convenient living, but cutting-edge solutions for a greener lifestyle. It will comprise seven residential phases and six commercial phases, with a GDV of RM2.5 billion. (NST Online)

Artist’s impression of Pantai Sentral Park

Malaysia ranked 9th among Asia Pacific nations with most empowered women
Malaysia is now ranked the 9th country with the most empowered women in Asia Pacific, ahead of Indonesia, China and Brunei based on the latest Malaysia Gender Gap Index (MGGI) released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM). The average score for Malaysian women in the four sub-indexs measured, comprising economic activities, education, health care and political representation in 2016 was 0.692 – which is moving closer towards the scale of 1 set by the Global Gender Gap Index (GGI) developed by the World Economic Forum. The MGGI is formulated based on the GGI, where Malaysia is currently ranked at 106th spot out of 144 countries surveyed on gender equality. (NST Online)

Malaysia’s fintech industry poised for growth
Malaysia’s financial technology (fintech) industry has a big potential to expand further, particularly in banking, innovation and high-technology areas. South Korea FinTech Centre Chairman Jung Yoo Shin said Malaysia’s attractive entrepreneurial space and strategic location allowed it to be a gateway to ASEAN markets which provided huge opportunities for the local fintech industry. Earlier, the South Korea FinTech Center signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Fintech Association of Malaysia (FAOM) to build a fintech ecosystem. (NST Online)